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The Independent Culture
THIS YEAR'S Generali European Bridge Championships produced some splendid hands and fine plays. Hans Humburg, of the German Senior team, displayed excellent technique on this hand.

Three No-trumps was the usual contract, which invariably made, owing to the favourable disposition of the red suit kings. Most declarers ducked the spade lead, won the second, then finessed in one of the minor suits, usually diamonds.

Humburg, East, received the lead of 43; his opponents were playing third and fifth leads. He, too, ducked the first spade and won the continuation. Rather than take either minor suit finesse, he played a small heart to dummy's jack. North won with the king and returned his last spade. Declarer's line seems to guarantee the contract, even if all the relevant kings are offside, as he now has two extra entries in hearts to his hand to take the other finesses into the safe hand. Even if all three had lost, there are still nine tricks without letting in South, the danger hand, to cash spades.

Had !K been with South and he takes it and clears the spades, declarer has nine tricks - three hearts, two spades, one club, three diamonds, via a finesse and irrespective of the position of #K.

If South had held !K and ducked, declarer switches to a club, perhaps the queen.

Again, it doesn't matter which defender has the king; declarer can win any return in hand and then finesse the diamonds to guarantee three tricks in the suit.